Queer travel in Florida.
November 8, 2006 5:51 AM   Subscribe

Possible romantic, gay friendly travel destinations within a few hours' driving distance of Sarasota, FL?

Let's define "a few" as five hours or less. We're looking at, ideally, a late March/early April timeframe for this. Early to mid-20s male maybe-couple. We met online, and this'll be the first time we get together, so get-to-know-you stuff is a good idea. We'll have a car. Budget is modest, but reasonable. Daytrip ideas would be just as welcome as anything else, as would things to do in or near Sarasota itself.

Oh, and... This might be kind of hard to square with gay-friendly destinations, but places that offer discounts for active duty military and/or veterans would be handy.
posted by kavasa to Travel & Transportation around Sarasota, FL (11 answers total)
Best answer: Having been there but once (and not gay), isn't Key West a big gay destination? Try here - http://www.gaykeywestfl.com/
posted by GuyZero at 6:28 AM on November 8, 2006

Hello...Disney World!
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 6:29 AM on November 8, 2006

I stayed at the Navy Air Station lodge on Key West one time. Only active or retired Armed Forces members and their guests can stay there. It was fairly cheap and clean, but more "don't ask, don't tell" than gay-friendly. Overall it was just OK, for vacation something a little more central may be good.

You are aware of the scene on South Beach, right? Gay-friendly to say the least, and great nightlife.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 6:40 AM on November 8, 2006

Also, Fort Lauderdale.

...and if you go to Orlando, check out Parliament House.
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:29 AM on November 8, 2006

Best answer: Hey!! How about Asheville, NC?

But I may be biased (I live here)!

A slower pace than South Beach, and cheaper, too. Nature hideaways, great restaurants, excellent music scene, and definitely gay-friendly!

I'd have to check on the discounts tho.
posted by sneakyalien at 7:34 AM on November 8, 2006

Response by poster: Oh wow, google maps says Asheville is 14 hours away.

It looks really ideal, but that's a long ways away. Maybe something for the future.
posted by kavasa at 8:16 AM on November 8, 2006

How about Casey Key? Pretty posh area. And who can beat strolling down the beach searching for shark's teeth or waking up early and watching the dolphins feeding close to shore? And on Wednesday evenings at the public beach down the way, they would have a really awesome get-together of people playing drums and dancing to the sunset.
posted by Sassyfras at 8:46 AM on November 8, 2006

Best answer: Sarasota's a pretty little town - I went to college there.

Plenty of low-key enjoyment to be gleaned in the town proper. There's the beaches on Lido or Siesta Key, and there's a buttload of art galleries and restaurants downtown. You might enjoy touring the Ringling Estate, and the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are nice, too.

Traveling to the Keys is nice, but it's a significant drive (more than 5 hours). Sanibel & Captiva islands are really beautiful & relatively secluded, not too far away.

For non-beachy fun we'd head to Ocala or Myakka Park for camping, hiking, swimming in lakes and springs.
posted by gnutron at 10:17 AM on November 8, 2006

Best answer: Don't pass up shared arts interests which might be appearing at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center.

It's a great venue.
posted by tomierna at 8:17 PM on November 8, 2006

Anna Maria Island
posted by Pollomacho at 11:58 PM on November 8, 2006

Salvador Dali Museum - St. Petersburg - About an hour

Tampa Bars - Also about an hour
posted by ?! at 9:59 PM on November 11, 2006

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